Are Business Cards Still Relevant?
Covid has postponed many events, meetings face-to-face and networking opportunities in 2020. Although business cards may seem outmoded and outdated, they are still relevant in today’s marketing, no matter if you’re a sole trader or a global business.
The business card is an established social tool for building a new relationship; in fact, 57% of business owners think business cards are essential to the promotion of their goods or services. Research also shows the business card still are printed in mass numbers, and so there is a real audience from this small but mighty marketing tool.
57% of people feel having a business card is essential to their business (Statistic Brain)
Why Business Cards are still a relevant and valuable tool
Business cards continue to be a valuable tool for many reasons. They are a real call to action. Long before the web, the business card was the interaction and the conversation starter, acting as a physical representation of you, your company and your offering. A Card may bring context to a meeting, understanding of your position in a company or area of business.
The fascinating part of a business card in 2020 might be what happens next? You share your card, and the recipient takes it away. Do they manually input your information into their address book? Do they do an online search of your company? or do they photograph it to their smartphone? Or in fact, it might sit on their desk as a reminder. Whichever way, they have to interact in some way, and that is the power of it. From initial conversation, to take away, to physical reminder – it can make the difference.
Twenty-seven million business cards printed daily turns into just under 10,000,000,000 business cards printed annually. (Entrepreneur)
The history of the Business Card
The Chinese first invented calling cards in the 15th century to give people notice that they intended to visit. Cards began in Europe in the 17th century where they were used to announce the arrival of wealthy or aristocratic people. By the 18th century, cards were in everyday use by the middle-class. These cards were presented upon visiting where they would be offered a card tray to place their card. The card was then delivered to the head of the household who would examine it as the first impression of the person. Over time these cards became more ornate, engraved with gold and interesting typefaces and by the 19th century,
Cards were also used for trade services. Cards were handed out for work and included information to get in contact with the person. Produced initially with wood presses, they would have been created with lithography after its creation in 1830.
Business Cards in different cultures and countries
Business cards are part of a ritual in business, and an introduction, process or an instigation, but throughout the world, there is a differing exchange. Exchanging business cards in Japan is known as Meishi, and it is part of etiquette. This ritual involves handing over the card with both hands. Read more about the etiquette on Business Insider.
In India, translation usually is not necessary, as most professionals speak English. However, you should ensure that qualifications are apparent on your card. in India, etiquette also says that cards should be given and received with the right hand.
In the UK and North America, there are little formalities of etiquette with sharing business cards; however, they do differ in size and so relevant design to meet the country standards is essential to remember.
Classic and famous Business Cards
Here are a few memorable people’s business cards, from Andy Warhol, Houdini to Steve Jobs. It’s not the cards that made these people famous, but perhaps they give some insight into some iconic people in history, before and during their most innovative of moments. These cards could have been the turning point in William H. Gates pivotal meeting or the defining moment for Steven Jobs. Read more about classic business cards of the rich and famous at Hongkiat.
Do people still use Business Cards?
72% of people judge a company or person based upon the quality of their business card (Statistic Brain)
Business cards have changed their usage. They are now a reminder, a takeaway, and a physical visual representation of you as a business teasing the holder to research you more.
Statistics show the first thing that people do following a meeting or a conversation is the follow-up by searching online, and you find your online presence to find out more about the person they have just conversed. Give yourself a chance to make an impression with a business card. In fact, with millions of business cards printed, produced and exchanged each year, a study found that for every 2000 cards handed out, a company’s sales increased on average by 2.5%. They are a representation of who you are, of your brand, of your visual promise of who you are as a person and entice them to find out more.
Designing Business Cards
From a design position, business cards can be beautiful objects; they can be simple, elegant modern or bold, bright and attractive. They can be briefly branded in line with your identity and help to tell a visual story for your company. A memorable object you share to remember you. It quickly sends a message to both the user and the recipient. It is used to start a conversation and to punctuate its end.
Print prices have dramatically dropped in the past few years. The change in digital print processes has meant that producing high-quality Matt laminated business cards is significantly reduced in price and can be printed in smaller numbers at high quality and paper stock. Services such as moo.com, now allow every card to be different meaning that the uniqueness and the individual needs of a high-quality print product in small numbers bring another element to your design.
Crucial Elements of a Successful Business Card
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We’ve been creating business cards for businesses for over 15 years, and are passionate about producing this beautiful little object. We have created over 50 editable designs to start your journey and business card design and to give companies and designers ideas for their new business or rebrand. Below you can download over 50 editable business card designs in both Adobe Illustrator and Canva Format allow you to explore your design ideas and edit these to make them unique to you.
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Matt works with a wide variety of companies from start-ups through to medium and large size companies to support their branding and identity work. Our work has included customer type places for brands which have featured in a wide variety of formats from TV & film through to packaging and print.
Creativity is key to our work, but so is understanding the real problem I understand underlies the project. Every project starts with a conversation about how we can help where you want to be as a company.
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